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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 25, 2009 4:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '74 vs '73

I also believe '72 has it all over BOTH '73 and '74...if only because the band sounds so much tighter and more focused in its jamming.

'73 does have a nice flowing sweetness (i.e. The Birdsong from 6/22/73 and many of the "He's Gone" jams from that year, as well as the HCS jams (esp. 12/16/73)

'74 does open the Jazz door a bit wider, which i like a lot, but there also seems to be some loss of focus...I tend to really get annoyed with the over-drawn Darkstars from this year--(but to be fair, that trend started in '73.
I think the best thing '74 had going for it was CHINA>RIDER. To my ears, the combo never sounded better before or since. (i.e. 2/24/74, my all-time favorite...but they're all splendid from that year...They seemed to concentrate more on that combo in '74 in terms of locking down the jazz effect, along with jamming --the intro of the MLB jam--and hard rocking as well driven by Billy's unsurpassed drumming efforts.

They're all fine years, but i would rank them in order, '72 to '74 as best on downward...I think given the huge volume of shows they played in '74 there was some burn-out, too, hance the semi-retirement, which did them all good.